Mom took the book out of the library (got to support those libraries since our grand dad was the director of the Saratoga Springs Public Library until he retired). Overall mom is glad she didn't buy the book because a lot of the information in it was things she already new from other books she has read and from John Bradshaw's interview in bark magazine. Still mom liked the book and would give it a 3 and a half paw rating, out of four.
Things I (mom) liked about the book:
1.) Bradshaw points out that wolves and dog's are very different. I have never liked the dog is a wolf theory, and pretty much all modern research into dog behavior discounts it. Bradshaw points out that though dog's DNA is similar to wolves, they are still drastically different. First, he provides evidence that supports that DNA does not regulate behavior. Then he argues that dogs have been in existence for approximately 15,000 years, so they have had all that time to become very different from wolves. Finally, he points out that our original assumptions of wolf behavior are very faulty because they are based on observations of wolves in zoos and those wolves are in an abnormal environment and thus don't behave like typical wolves in the wild. Rather then looking to wolves for clues about dog behavior, Bradshaw suggests we look to the behavior of feral village dogs in India. These dogs live much like dogs might have lived in early human times. They exist in a loose pack structure, but there is no definite "alpha" dog and they don't hunt together.
2.) Since he discounts the wolf theory he is very anti the dominance/alpha theory of dog behavior. I love this because I am not a fan of dominance/alpha theory at all, lots of abuse has been dumped on dogs for many years due to the "alpha" theory. In Bradshaw's opinion dogs are not constantly trying to dominate humans, or each other, and if we act like they are they fail to really understand and bond with our dogs.
4.) He wants people to lighten up their expectations on dogs. Bradshaw points out that we humans expect a LOT of our dogs. We want them to behave in public at all times, to be quiet, to wait for us patiently while we are gone, to repress frustration and anxiety, etc. Bradshaw has particularly good advice about how to train a dog to adjust to being left alone that might help dogs with separation anxiety.
5.) He's English-What can I say, I am an unrepentant anglophile so anyone from that country automatically gets points.
What I didn't like:
1.) Much of what has been said in the book has been said before and though Bradshaw does add some new things to the conversation, a lot of it felt like a rehashing of other books I've read.
Here is a link to a you tube video of Bradshaw discussing dog behavior